How to Insert a Graphic or Animation Into an Outlook Signature

Use a picture to spice up your email signature

Chart resting on hand with pink studio background
Paper Boat Creative / Getty Images

A typical Microsoft Outlook email signature is just text. It might be formatted or colored but it's usually pretty bland until you add an image. Maybe it's a company logo or a family photo, and either is really easy to include.

Your email signature can send a strong professional or promotional message. This is true for text, but images can often convey meaning even faster and in a richer manner. Of course, pictures can be added just for fun, too.

In Outlook, adding a graphic or animation (an animated GIF, for example) to your signature is as easy as adding a picture to an email.

If you don't use Outlook, you can include an image signature in Mozilla Thunderbird too.

How to Add Images to an Outlook Signature

Outlook 2016 or 2010

Below are the instructions for adding a graphic to your Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2010 email signature. If you have an older version of the program, see the tutorials below this first set of steps.

  1. Choose File from the menu in MS Outlook.

  2. Select Options to open Outlook Options.

  3. Go to the Mail tab.

  4. In the Compose messages section, choose the Signatures button next to Create or modify signatures for messages.

  5. If you already have a signature that you want to add an image to, skip down to Step 6. Otherwise, select the New button in the E-mail Signature tab to make a new Outlook signature.

    Name the signature something unique and then enter any text you want to be included in the signature in the area at the bottom of the Signatures and Stationery window, in the Edit signature section.

  6. Make sure the signature you want to add a picture to is selected.

  7. Position the cursor where you want to insert the picture.

  8. Select the insert pictures button in the formatting toolbar to select the image you want in the signature. It's the one between the Business Card and hyperlink buttons.

    Make sure the image is small (less than some 200 KB would be best) to avoid having it take up too much space in the email. Adding attachments already increases the message size, so it's recommended to keep the image signature small.

  9. Select OK on the Signatures and Stationery window to save the signature.

  10. Select OK again to exit out of Outlook Options.

Outlook 2007

If you want to edit an existing signature, see the steps below Step 17.

  1. Create a new message in Outlook using rich HTML formatting.

  2. Design your desired signature in the body of the message.

  3. Position the cursor where you want to insert a picture.

  4. Use Insert > Picture to add the image or animation.

    Make sure the image is a GIF, JPEG or PNG file and not too big. Other formats such as TIFF or BMP produce large files. Try reducing the image size or resolution in a graphics editor and saving the picture to the JPEG format if it's any larger than around 200 KB.

  5. Press Ctrl+A to highlight the entire body of the message.

  6. Press Ctrl+C.

  7. Now select Tools > Options... from the main Outlook menu.

  8. Access the Mail Format tab.

  9. Select Signatures under Signatures.

  10. Select New to add a new signature and give it a name.

  11. Select Next >.

  12. Press Ctrl+V to paste your signature in the Signature text field.

  13. Select Finish.

  14. Now select OK.

  15. If you've just created your first signature, Outlook has automatically made it the default for new messages, which means it will be automatically inserted. To use it for replies too, select it under Signature for replies and forwards.

  16. Select OK again.

Edit an Existing Signature to Add an Image in Outlook 2007

To edit an existing signature using the method described above:

  1. Select Tools > Options from the menu.

  2. Go to the Mail Format tab.

  3. Select Signatures under Signatures.

  4. Highlight the signature you want to edit and press Ctrl+A to highlight all the text.

  5. Copy it with Ctrl+C.

  6. Use the Esc key three times.

  7. Create a new message in Outlook using rich HTML formatting.

  8. Select in the body of the new message.

  9. Press Ctrl+A and then Ctrl+V to paste the content.

  10. Proceed as above but edit the existing one instead.

Outlook 2003

See our step-by-step walkthrough on how to insert a graphic into an Outlook 2003 signature if you have that version of MS Outlook.